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  • Overview

    Employment services for businesses

    This page gives an overview of our employment services for businesses. If you’re an individual looking for professional advice on employment law, please visit our for you page.

    Handling employment law issues can be a big distraction when you are trying to run a business. Get it wrong and it can tie up lots of management time as well as being very costly. But, when you get it right, it complements the business and keeps you running smoothly.

    So that’s our job as employment solicitors – to keep your business running smoothly and if an occasional hiccough occurs – because life is like that – we’ll help you get through it with minimal disruption.

    We act for businesses in Kent, Sussex and beyond, of all shapes and sizes and in many different sectors. Our advice for businesses covers all aspects of the employment relationship, helping to settle disputes, defending employment tribunal claims and providing immigration compliance audits. You’ll see the full list below.

    The fact is that employment law has become much more complicated in recent years. So you can rest assured that we have a team with terrific expertise and experience across the full spectrum of work. What makes us stand out is the depth of the relationship which we will forge with you based on our unstinting commitment to understand the way you and your business operates. That way we design and tailor our service around your needs – not an off-the-shelf formula. You will experience our unrivalled speed of response, which is consistently praised by those we work with.

    So whether it’s dealing with employment tribunal claims or providing a telephone helpline service we’ve got all angles covered to provide commercially driven, strategic and practical advice, given with the energy and proactivity you expect from a trusted professional adviser.

    To give a flavour of our work here are some recent examples

    • Advising a national construction firm that was negotiating a public sector contract with a local council, we were able to advise comprehensively on all employment issues including the Local Government Pensions Scheme
    • Advising a group of current and former employees of a multi-national food distribution company who tried to move over £20 million worth of our client's business to a competitor, we successfully took proceedings against them
    • Advising a national insurance broker that had to close one of its sites, we took them through the process of consulting with its workforce
    • Advising a care home sector charity on strategies for cost reduction which involved changes to terms and conditions.
       

    Our team of specialist employment lawyers covering London, Kent, Sussex and Surrey have the necessary expertise to handle a full range of employment law issues including:


    Get in touch

    For a discussion of your needs contact Nick Hobden on 01322 623700 or nick.hobden@ts-p.co.uk.

    Alternatively you can read our frequently asked questions on employment related legal matters here; Employment - FAQ

     

       

  • Related Client Stories

    Data subject access request for estate agent

    The team recently assisted an estate agents based in Hastings in relation to a dispute over the disclosure of personal data and a complaint made to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

    Trustee’s conflict with the board of an academy trust

    Thomson Snell & Passmore were instructed by a multi-academy trust to assist in the removal of a trustee who had breached the Nolan principles of governance. They had not only broken the rule of integrity, but had also placed improper pressure on another trustee not to stand in their way of being re-elected.

    Advising on IR35 / contractors and preparing status determination statements

    Nick Hobden was contacted by a metals supplier in Kent. They were looking to get to grips with the amount of contractor suppliers that they had working for the business and whether providing their services though personal service companies (PSCs), would make them liable to scrutiny by HMRC under the new off payroll IR35 tax rules.

    COVID-19 tribunal claim

    Thomson Snell & Passmore were instructed to assist a medical supplies employer who was on the receiving end of an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal and age discrimination.

    Fair dismissal when after two final written warnings to the employee he would still not conform to expected standards

    Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Employment Team led by Nick Hobden acted for a voluntary assisted faith junior school, in Kent.

    Defending in the Special Education Needs Tribunal for disability discrimination

    Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP are delighted to announce a successful defence in the special education needs tribunal (SENT), the first that the firm has acted on.

    Assisting a school trust with inherited grievances from the previous employer

    Dominic Williams recently advised a school trust in relation to grievances and long-standing issues with an employee. 

    Assisting a client in defending a claim with multiple respondents

    Our employment team is experienced in employment tribunal claims and are capable of assisting at all stages of the tribunal process.

    Acting for pilots of a major international commercial airline

    The coronavirus pandemic has impacted on all sectors of the economy. One of those most impacted early on were airlines.

    Securing an enhanced settlement package for an employee

    Our client was first informed that there were performance issues at the same time the settlement agreement was presented to them.

    Saving a business time and money on an employee gross misconduct case

    Nick Hobden recently advised a commercial client following the suspension of one of their employees who was accused of gross misconduct.

    Assisting a school with a data disclosure dispute

    Nick Hobden recently assisted a secondary school in relation to a dispute over the disclosure of personal data.

    Negotiating a redundancy agreement

    An employee of an insurance company in London approached the Employment team after receiving a settlement agreement.

    Advising on a settlement agreement

    Our client was invited to a meeting by his employer and was informed that they were making our client redundant.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore assisted part of a multi-academy trust in relation to a data subject access request (DSAR)

    The Employment Team at Thomson Snell & Passmore recently assisted part of a multi-academy trust in relation to a data subject access request (DSAR) submitted by a solicitor on behalf of a former student.

    Defending a national freight forwarder and logistic solutions provider when a terminated self-employed contractor claimed employee status

    The long standing contractor had always worked for our client on a self employed basis.  However after his engagement was terminated by our client, the contractor made an employment tribunal claim, arguing that he had employee status and was unfairly dismissed when his contract was terminated. 

    Thomson Snell & Passmore advise a multi-academy trust in relation to vexatious complaints and claims made by the parents of a pupil

    Thomson Snell & Passmore advised an education trust in relation to a series of increasingly vexatious complaints and claims made by the parents of a pupil.

    Advising a client on protecting confidential information

    One of our clients, a London based professional services firm,  discovered that one of its advisers had been using our client’s confidential information and its systems to conduct business for some clients of the business “on the side” for his own gain.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore assist in reaching a commercial settlement

    Nick Hobden was contacted by a disability charity. One of the client’s employees was dismissed following long term sickness absence.

    Advising an employer on handling a grievance from a longstanding employee

    London based academy school who needed advice on handling a grievance from a longstanding employee.

    Successfully advising a client regarding its managing director’s behaviour

    Thomson Snell & Passmore were instructed by a retail and wholesale business that needed advice regarding its managing director’s behaviour.

    Advising a headteacher on whether action taken so far could give rise to a claim of procedural fairness

    Nick Hobden was contacted by a headteacher of a specialist school when an employee (a speech and language therapist) did not return to work after the Christmas break. The employee gave notice and was signed off as sick by her GP for work-related stress for the duration of her notice period.

    Acting for an employer in response to claims for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination

    Thomson Snell & Passmore were instructed to assist a social care and welfare employer who was on the receiving end of an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.

    Assault at Multi Academy Trust leads to complaints from parents

    We acted for a Multi Academy Trust who has expertise in special educational needs, particularly on the autistic spectrum including Asperger’s. We advised the Trust in relation to a series of increasingly vexatious complaints and claims made by the parents of a pupil.

    Resolving pension issues in TUPE transfers

    Our client approached us following their acquisition of an insolvent organisation.

    Defending an employment tribunal claim for a care provider

    A longstanding client of the firm who is a major provider of care homes for elderly and vulnerable adults approached us after receiving an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.

    Helping an employer resolve a complicated case involving risk of disclosure of confidential information

    One of our client’s employees was found, after he handed in his notice, to have been using our client’s confidential information and its systems to conduct business for some clients of the business on side for his own gain.

    Acting for an employer in response to a religious discrimination claim

    An employee of our client unsuccessfully applied for a vacancy in January 2016, which would have been a promotion for him.  In response he, a long standing employee, raised a number of complaints alleging that over a number of years he and other employees had been denied a promotion and workplace opportunities because of religion.

    Aiding in a restructuring of senior management

    Our client, a subsidy of a pan-European company, needed to boost profitably. We conducted five managed terminations of senior staff whose performance at work was not conducive to the future success of the company.

    Acting for a multi-academy trust

    We aided our client in responding to a claim by a job applicant that their interview process was discriminatory.

    Acting for a large charity

    We have aided a leading charity in restructuring their HR and finance departments, alongside streamlining their operation as a whole to meet the challenges they face.

    Acting for Pure Asphalt Company Ltd

    The client, one of the leading mastic asphalt manufactures in the UK, contacted us in relation to a disgruntled senior manager who, through his solicitor, raised a meritless grievance accompanied by an invitation for the client to pay him to leave his employment.  In addition to this, he went off sick with stress.

    Acting for North Kent College in defending an employee’s claim of discrimination

    North Kent College provides education to 4,500 students across two main campuses in Dartford and Gravesend. Our employment team has acted for them and advised them on various employment matters.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore successfully defends care home provider

    Our client, Avante Care & Support Limited, are a major regional provider of care homes for elderly and vulnerable adults.

    Rural Age Concern Darent Valley

    Rural Age Concern Darent Valley (the Charity) is an independent charity providing services for the elderly and disabled people in the southern parishes of Dartford Borough Council and Northern Parishes of Sevenoaks District Council.  They work closely with other groups, based in Kent, as well as local, regional and national agencies to represent the interests of the elderly and disabled on various committees and forums.

    Fleetdown Community Centre

    Fleetdown Community Centre (Fleetdown) is a charity run by a committee of volunteers from members of the local community.

    Acting for a large salad and cereals producer

    Our employment team have been acting for a large salad and cereals producer since February 2015.

    Acting for a leading sandwich manufacturer and distributor

    Our employment team have been acting for a leading sandwich manufacturer and distributor since December 2014.

    When is it appropriate to settle an employment tribunal claim?

    There are times when an employer needs to, and should, take a stand when facing a claim in the employment tribunal and there are times when it makes commercial sense to settle.

    Turning a negative employment situation into something positive

    Our employment team represented a senior director in relation to the abrupt termination of his employment, successfully assisting him in obtaining funding for High Court proceedings and negotiating a six figure compensation package for him.

    Defending employment tribunal proceedings for unfair dismissal

    There are times when an employer needs to take a stand which is exactly what Berry Gardens Limited the UK's largest berry supplier, with an annual turnover of £193 million did in respect of defending unfair dismissal proceedings issued against it by a former employee which it felt was a ‘try on’.

    Winning an employment tribunal claim – a senior executive’s success story

    The employment team recently represented a senior executive against his former employers and assisted him in winning his claim for constructive unfair dismissal and breach of contract in the employment tribunal.

    Striking out frivolous employment tribunal claims and recovering costs

    Crowhurst Park, a holiday and leisure park on the outskirts of the historic town of Battle in East Sussex which lets luxury pine lodges and holiday homes on its 120 acre country estate, successfully got claims for constructive unfair dismissal struck out and costs awarded against the employees.

    Procter Consultancy Limited

    This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Corporate, Commercial, and Employment teams who together advised the shareholders of Proctor Consultancy Limited on the acquisition of Procter by Imparta Limited. The case study is an example of how we can work closely with a client to achieve the intended result, however complex the transaction and however short the timetable is.

    Protecting confidential information

    Dole Fresh (UK) Limited, a large producer, distributor and seller of fresh fruit and vegetables, successfully defended a direct attack to its business by taking High Court injunctive relief action to protect it and recover its confidential information.

    Dismissing a difficult and obstructive employee

    The conduct of an employee in certain circumstances can result in the irretrievable breakdown of the working relationship entitling an employer to terminate the contract of employment.

  • Latest Updates

    Workplace Law - January 2022

    In this month’s Workplace Law we have a video from Nick Hobden, Head of Employment, where he answers some key questions for employers around Covid vaccinations, self-isolating, SSP and CSP. We also have some articles on flexible working and the cost of refusal, the increase to the National Minimum Wage, and also our thoughts on the recent dismissal of a care home worker for refusal of a vaccine.

    National Minimum Wage Increase (April 2022)

    The government has confirmed that the National Living Wage (NLW) will increase along with all other hourly rates as recommended by the Low Pay Commission (LPC).

    Mandatory Vaccines; Allette v Scarsdale Grange Nursing Home Ltd

    The Employment Tribunal (ET) has found that in the case of Allette (A) v Scarsdale Grange Nursing Home Ltd (SGNH Ltd), the dismissal of a care home employee, for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in January 2021, was not unfair.

    Refusal of flexible working and how this can cost companies

    Refusing flexible working requests costs UK firms £2 billion a year. Flexonomics, a report commissioned by construction giant Sir Robert McAlpine and flexible working campaigner, Mother Pukka, found that flexible working, annually, contributed £37bn to the UK economy.

    How to deal with workplace bullying and harassment

    In an article for People Management, Ben Stepney explains what businesses can do to mitigate the risk of such claims from employees, and how they should respond

    Omicron; how employers can prepare

    If you had asked people in March 2020 whether we would still be battling the pandemic nearly 2 years later, most people would look at you in a state of shock; but here we are. At the time of writing, the number of cases in the UK of the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, had reached over 45,000.

    Looking ahead to 2022 for employment law: Flexible working, bullying and stress

    As another difficult year draws to a close, it is only sensible to start looking towards 2022 and thinking of the potential opportunities and challenges that may face employers and employees alike. One of these challenges will likely be the issue of flexible working.

    Workplace Law - December 2021

    In this month’s Workplace Law we discuss the temporary change in the law regarding statutory sick pay (SSP) which now means that self-certification for sick leave (providing evidence of illness) has been extended from 7 days to 28 days. We look at the rising cases of the Omicron variant and how employers can prepare, and we also have 'part two' of our two part series relating to restrictive covenants. 

    What are the implications of compulsory vaccinations?

    The ‘compulsory vaccinations’ discussion continues to be at the forefront of many employers’ minds. Should we adopt this, should we not and if we do, what are the implications? Ben Stepney from our employment team shared his expertise on the matter with People Management

    Workplace Law - November 2021

    In this month’s Workplace Law we discuss the fire and rehire process and what employers need to consider, we look at how to protect confidential and sensitive information through the use of restrictive covenants in employee contracts, especially during a time when the job market is booming, and we also take a look at ICO’s call for help to shape a new user-friendly resource to replace the ICO’s existing guidance on data protection and employment practices.

    ICO: Data Protection and employment practices

    The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has launched a call for views on data protection and employment practices to help shape a new user-friendly resource to replace the ICO’s existing guidance on the topic. This will be “employer focused”. The update stems from concerns regarding digital surveillance of employees, particularly remote monitoring of employees working from home, and lack of guidance on this area.

    Restrictive covenants in employment contracts – Part one

    The UK jobs market is booming and employers across many sectors are struggling to recruit the staff they need.  It is probably not a coincidence that over the last year we have seen an increase in enquiries from employers regarding employee competition concerns. 

    Fire and rehire: Best practice and how to avoid

    Fire and rehire is the process of terminating an existing employment contract, usually on notice, and then offering to rehire the employee on amended terms, which are less favourable to the employee.  It is also known as dismissal and re-engagement.

    Autumn Budget 2021

    On the 27 October 201 Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the contents of his Budget in the House of Commons, where he set out the government's tax and spending plans for the year ahead. He claimed that the economy is back on track, opening with “employment is up, investment is growing, public finances are stabilising and wages are rising”. It includes a range of announcements that impact on individuals and businesses. Here, experts from across our departments explore exactly what this means for you and your business.

    Workplace Law - October 2021

    In this month’s Workplace Law we discuss whether employers can make Covid-19 vaccinations compulsory and what considerations need to be made. We give a summary of the gender pay gap reporting results that would normally be published on 5 April each year but as a result of the pandemic, employers were given until 5 October 2021 to report their figures for 2020/2021. We also highlight why it is so important for employers to offer menopause support, and how they can do this, following a rise in cases where the menopause is referenced in employment tribunals.

    Gender pay gap reporting and what employers can do to close the gap

    Since April 2017, private and voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees have been legally required to publish and report specific figures about their gender pay gap by the 4 April each year.

    Why is it so important that employers offer menopause support?

    The 18 October marked World Menopause Day, which aims to help raise awareness of the menopause and support for those going through it.

    Returning from maternity leave – redundancy and flexible working

    It is important for both employers and employees to know their respective rights in relation to maternity leave. Ignorance could lead to confusion, misunderstandings, discrimination and unfair dismissal claims or employees not receiving their entitlements.

    Workplace Law - September 2021

    In this month’s Workplace Law we look at the proposed changes to the rules on when employees can request flexible working. This is a key topic for employers to pay attention to, and we also explore the repercussions of not doing so, in an article examining a recent case of indirect discrimination. The team recently hosted our latest HR Club, looking at how to prevent and combat bullying and harassment claims in the workplace. This was really well attended and is clearly a subject of great interest. We have included a write up of the session below, as well as a guest article from Andy Hillier of the Association of Chairs, who has written a piece on dealing with media questions about bullying claims.  We would also like to welcome the newest member of our team, Jessica Wells. 

    Discrimination and Harassment; how to avoid and manage

    In 2019 a Europe wide study found that reports of discrimination were highest in the UK, where 38% of respondents felt that they had been discriminated against at work.

    What do the new flexible working proposals means for employers?

    The Government has recently announced a new proposal, to allow every employee in Great Britain to request flexible working – regardless of time served in employment.

    Workplace Law - August 2021

    In this month’s Workplace Law, we explore the options for restructuring and redundancies as the furlough scheme comes to a close at the end of September, we look at the key signs of stress and distress and how to combat burn out, and also discuss what is best practice when it comes to testing employees for COVID-19. If you have any questions about any of these issues please do get in touch.

    How can employers best welcome new joiners in an age of hybrid and remote working?

    The pandemic has made the hiring process more challenging than ever, with new joiners unable to meet colleagues face-to-face and easily integrate themselves into the business and its culture.

    How to handle employee grievances in an age of hybrid working

    Whilst the working landscape has dramatically changed over the last year or so, disciplinary and grievance procedures continue to apply in the same way as before the pandemic began. 

    What are the options for restructuring and redundancies as furlough comes to an end?

    After being extended several times, the furlough scheme is due to finally close at the end of September this year. The government has been encouraging this wind down of the furlough scheme since the beginning of July, when employers had to begin paying 10% of their furloughed workers’ wages.

    How to deal with post furlough fallout

    Since the introduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) in March 2020, the government estimates that over 11.6 million jobs have been furloughed and 1.9 million jobs still remain on furlough. However, following ‘Freedom Day’, more and more businesses have begun the return to the traditional working environment or are in the process of planning to.

    How best to deal with disciplinary procedures as we return to the workplace?

    For many employees, the past 18 months may well have been spent working from home. As they begin to return to the office, old issues may be raised once more, or businesses may well find that there are new potential disciplinary matters to deal with.

    Why having robust anti-bullying and harassment policies is so important for charities

    Now, more than ever, the need for a diverse and inclusive workplace is clear. In fact, a strong diversity and inclusion strategy can help your business attract top talent and drive innovative results.

    Workplace Law - July 2021

    As many businesses start to return to the workplace now that the ‘work from home’ advice has been lifted, employers are starting to grapple with a range of potential issues. In this month’s Workplace Law, we examine a selection of these, including responding to bullying and harassment in the workplace, how best to support employees with mental health issues, and how best to approach the somewhat thorny issue of mask wearing. If you have any questions about any of these issues please do get in touch.

    How to combat burnout: what are the key signs of stress and distress to look out for?

    Research has shown that many remote workers are clocking in more hours and facing a bigger workload then before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Remote workers have developed habits of taking shorter lunch breaks and working through sickness.

    What is best practice when it comes to testing employees for COVID-19?

    Employers welcoming staff back into the workplace may wish to introduce processes and protocols around encouraging their employees to be regularly tested for COVID, to help reduce the spread of the virus and keep employees and customers safe. Here, we look at the key things businesses need to consider when implementing testing programmes.

    What is the best way to support employees with mental health issues as we return to the workplace?

    Recent Government guidance recommends a ‘gradual return to the workplace over the summer’. Yet with cases rising rapidly and concern about new, more easily transmissible variants, some employees may have real anxiety about returning to the workplace or their journey to work if it involves public transport.

    Mask confusion: what should employers do about face masks for employees and customers now?

    There is no longer a legal requirement for people in England to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces, the Government guidance now states that businesses should “encourage and recommend” visitors and staff to wear face masks. This has prompted some confusion and backlash from business groups. Here we explore what employers need to consider.

    How best to support employees with long COVID

    While for the fortunate majority COVID-19 is a relatively short-lived and mild illness, for others it can be a very serious and sadly sometimes fatal disease. For some, the virus can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection. This ‘long COVID’ could hugely impact someone's ability to work or cause them to take prolonged periods of sickness absence.

    How best to tackle bullying and harassment in the workplace as employees return to the office?

    Following the Prime Minister’s most recent announcement, the work-from-home advice will officially be lifted on July 19th. This means that businesses can finally begin to regain some sense of normality with more workers returning to the workplace.

    COVID-19 vaccinations: what do employers need to consider?

    The roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine has been welcomed by most of the nation. In particular, employers and business owners are hoping that the uptake in vaccinations will make it much easier for businesses to open, stay open and not have to contend with staff shortages due to staff having to isolate due to exposure to COVID-19.

    What is best practice for office etiquette in the time of COVID?

    Although current government advice until 19 July remains that everyone who can work from home should do so, many business have already begun the transition back into an office working environment or are in the process of planning this. Returning to the office after a lengthy absence, whether from a career break or maternity leave, can be a daunting prospect at the best of times

    Workplace Law - June 2021

    In this month’s edition of Workplace Law we have a reminder about the changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) coming into effect from tomorrow 1 July. We discuss the legalities of monitoring employees who work from home and we also look at hybrid working, and considerations for employees working from home.

    What are the legalities of monitoring employees who work from home?

    As employers look for ways they can ensure that productivity levels do not suffer through home working, some are turning their attention to the practice of employee monitoring and how it operates as the employer’s eyes and ears in managing employee output remotely. In this article we explore the legalities of such an approach and what any business considering employee monitoring needs to carefully consider.

    Home working: how to make it work for everyone

    The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined our understanding of flexible working and has seen a huge rise in remote and latterly hybrid working.

    What should the expected minimum requirements for Hybrid working be?

    In the latest article as part of our ‘return to the office’ series, we discuss the safeguards that businesses should consider when adopting a new hybrid-working policy.

    Exploring the key challenges and opportunities of returning to the workplace

    At our most recent HR Club, we had a wide ranging discussion about the key challenges and opportunities associated with returning to the workforce. What quickly became apparent is that there is clearly no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Over the coming weeks, we will be exploring a wide range of topics, to help support businesses as they look to the future of work. In this first article, we discuss the importance of consulting and communicating with employees as a first step in introducing any new working practices.

    Workplace Law - May 2021

    In this month’s edition of Workplace Law we look at what employers should consider when it comes to staff requests for foreign holidays, post-holiday quarantine and business travel as well as a recent EAT ruling relating to an unfair dismissal claim from an employee on his implementation of new health and safety procedures in his workplace. 

    Staff booking foreign holidays, travel quarantine and business travel – what an employer needs to know from an employment law perspective

    We have reached Step 3 in the UK government’s Roadmap back to normality. Non-essential foreign travel is allowed once again. This allows people in England and Scotland to go on holidays abroad to ‘green list’ countries. 

    Don’t shoot the messenger: Employee unfairly dismissed for implementing new health and safety procedures

    In the case of Sinclair v Trackwork Limited, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that an employee was automatically unfairly dismissed under Section 100(1)(a) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) in circumstances where his implementation of new health and safety procedures caused upset and friction within the workforce.

    Employment updates on rulings on claim of sexual discrimination in relation to shared parental leave and the Court of Appeal’s ruling against Addison Lee in a further boost to gig economy workers.

    In this month’s edition of Workplace Law we look at two very different recent rulings. The first concerns a claim of sexual discrimination in relation to shared parental leave and the second explores the Court of Appeal’s ruling against Addison Lee in a further boost to gig economy workers. We also dive into two Covid-19 related topics with a piece that highlights the legal and ethical considerations of vaccine passports and an article that gives an insight into how to deal with employees who do not wish to return to the office after lockdown. If you have any questions about these – or any other employment law related – topics, then please get in touch.

    Passport, please: the ethical and legal considerations of vaccine passports

    “Could I see your vaccine passport please?” This a stark request for personal special category of data that many of us could be facing very soon, and as the UK begins to unlock national restrictions and the COVID-19 vaccine programme progresses, the question of whether vaccine passports should play a part in this process continues to dominant the COVID-19 related news.

    Comparing apples and pears – adoption leave and shared parental leave

    In Price v Powys County Council, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (‘EAT’) were asked to rule on whether a male employee on Shared Parental Leave (‘SPL’) could compare their pay to a female employee on Adoption Leave for the purposes of a sex discrimination claim.

    Taxi drivers are workers: Addison Lee follows Uber

    In the latest victory for gig economy workers following Uber’s loss at the Supreme Court last month, the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the company Addison Lee against an employment tribunal decision which found that drivers were entitled to the minimum wage from the time they logged on as ready to take passengers to the time they logged off.

    Life after lockdown: Employees who refuse to return to the workplace

    An employment tribunal was recently called to decide on whether the dismissal of a laser operator was automatically unfair. Rodgers v Leeds Laser Cutting Ltd involved an employee who was dismissed after refusing to return to the workplace until ‘lockdown restrictions eased’ because he was worried for the health and wellbeing of his children who were particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

    What employers need to know about the Supreme Court ruling regarding equal pay; updated government guidance for the clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 and changes to Employment Rights Act 1996

    In this edition of Workplace Law we discuss the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding equal pay for retail employees and distribution employees; updated government guidance for those deemed clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 and changes to Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) regarding health and safety rights.

    Workers to get same rights as employees to protection from detriment for health and safety right assertions

    On the 1 March 2021, the government laid an order before Parliament to amend the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) and level the playing field between the protection offered to “employees” and “workers” in the workplace.

    New guidance from Government on clinically vulnerable – COVID-19

    On 17 March 2021, the Government released new guidance for people in the category of clinically extremely vulnerable.

    Asda equal pay case - Supreme Court – valid comparators test

    A recent decision by the Supreme Court in Asda Stores Ltd v Brierley now means that retail employees can be compared to distribution employees in equal pay claims made under the Equal Pay Act 1970 and Equality Act 2010 (EA 2010).

    Thomson Snell & Passmore advise on sale of Tropical Blinds to BGF-backed, Mzuri Group

    Leading South East law firm, Thomson Snell & Passmore, has advised the shareholders of Tropical Blinds Limited in relation to the sale of their shares to Mzuri Group. 

    Budget 2021: Furlough scheme extended

    Nick Hobden, Head of Employment, shares his views on the Chancellor’s announcement in the Budget about the extension of the furlough scheme.

    Firms face legal minefield over 'jabs for jobs' controversy

    Ben Stepney from our employment team recently spoke to Kent Business about the need to be very cautious when it comes to Covid-19 vaccination policies in the workplace.

    Workplace Law - February 2021

    In this edition of Workplace Law we discuss the upcoming changes to IR35, the issue of whether or not employers can mandate their staff receive the COVID vaccination and the recent Supreme Court ruling and what that means for the gig economy. 

    IR35: Are you ready?

    Long talked about changes to off-payroll working rules for private sector organisations, which were originally planned for April 2020, are coming into force from 6 April 2021.

    Will you need a jab to get a job?

    Ben Stepney from our employment team recently spoke to You Money about the legalities of so called ‘no jab no job’ clauses.

    Working with pilots

    A recent BBC article highlighted how the havoc wrecked on the aviation industry has affected a huge number of pilots.

    Continued concerns over attending the workplace during the pandemic raise questions for employers and employees alike

    Despite current lockdown rules in the UK stating that people should ‘work from home wherever possible’ and that employers should ‘take every step possible’ to achieve this, there have been numerous reports in the media recently about people feeling they are being asked to attend the workplace unnecessarily or unsafely.

    Workplace Law - January 2021

    Happy new year to all our readers!  We hope 2021 has got off to a good start for you all. In this edition of Workplace Law we cover whistleblowing, indirect discrimination and dementia in the workplace.  

    Dementia in the Workplace – What to do as an employee if you are diagnosed with dementia?

    In the final part of our series on Dementia in the Workplace consider what to do if you are an employee who has been diagnosed with dementia. We discuss the obligations that may arise on behalf of both you and your employer, and the extra support you will be entitled to receive.

    Indirect discrimination in the workplace

    Devon and Cornwall Police recently failed in its appeal against an employment tribunal decision that found the act of transferring a police officer from a Response Team role to an office role after becoming pregnant was discriminatory, on the grounds of both her pregnancy and her sex.

    Whistleblowing

    On the 14 January 2021, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) imposed a number of additional requirements on two firms in relation to the whistleblowing systems and controls.

    List of employers published who failed to pay minimum wage to employees

    On the 31st December 2020 HMRC published the identity of 139 companies who have failed to pay national minimum wage (NMW) to their employees between 2016 and 2018.

    Workplace Law - December 2020

    Business immigration changes

    Following the end of the UK-EU transition period on 31 December 2020, a new system of business immigration will be in place to govern how businesses recruit staff from abroad. It will apply to all immigrants whether they are from the European Economic Area or from further overseas.

    Dementia and the rights of carers in the workplace

    In this next edition of our Dementia in the Workplace series, we look at the rights of employees who act as unpaid carers, and the obligations employers have in relation to them.

    Workplace Law - November 2020

    Workplace Law - October 2020

    Job Support Scheme

    The end of October brings the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘CJRS’), the unprecedented package of support that at its peak subsidised wages for around 30% of the workforce throughout the UK, and as of September 2020 cost close to £40 billion and counting.

    The story - settlement agreements

    Throughout our story, we will be following a local restaurant called The Sumptuous Pizzeria (TSP). TSP is a small, local, family run Pizzeria which offers both a sit-in dining experience, take-away and delivery. 

    A short article on settlement agreements

    Brexit: Action to take now, regardless of ongoing deal negotiations

    You may be thinking…Brexit has already happened and so it has, but the real issues arise upon the ending of the transition period on 31st December 2020.

    Largest fine yet levied against employer for breach of GDPR regulations concerning employee data

    The German branch of the Swedish clothing manufacturer H&M have been handed a huge fine in excess of €35 million by the Hamburg Data Protection Authority, as a result of a breach of GDPR rules concerning employee data.

    The story

    Throughout our story, we will be following a local restaurant called The Sumptuous Pizzeria (TSP). As the name suggests, TSP is a small, local, family run Pizzeria which offers both a sit-in dining experience, take-away and delivery.  

    A short article on redundancy

    Following the COVID-19 outbreak, TSP made use of the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and furloughed a number of its staff in order to save the business as a whole.

    The life of an employer

    At the beginning of this year we considered writing a number of articles on the life-cycle of an employer to help our clients with a number of common issues that cropped up during this process.

    Autumn/Winter Coronavirus Support Measures

    Nick Hobden, head of employment explains the new support schemes announced by the Government

    Workplace Law - September 2020

    Workplace Law - August 2020

    Schrems II - transferring employee data outside of the EU

    This case concerns an Austrian lawyer, Facebook, the Irish Data Protection Commission and GDPR. But please read on as it may actually be relevant to your organisation.

    Can an employee be fairly dismissed without procedure after a breakdown in working relations?

    An employee can be fairly dismissed without any procedure after a breakdown in working relations.

    Contact tracing compliance - ensuring your business meets GDPR requirements

    As businesses begin admitting people back to their workplaces, many will be logging customer and visitor information for the purposes of contact tracing.

    Should the Test and Trace system work like jury service?

    The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has said that the NHS Test and Trace system should provide employees who have to take time off from work to self-isolate with full pay.  He considers that this would increase people’s engagement with the system.

    FAQ: Employment

    If redundancies are still needed, you need to consider which roles are at risk of redundancy.  As much as possible you should approach this on a ’no names’ basis.  It is the role that is redundant, not the individual employee.

    Workplace Law - July 2020

    Job Retention Bonus

    The Government has today released further details regarding the Job Retention Bonus.

    Redundancy pay whilst on Furlough

    In March 2020 the government rolled out the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which allowed organisations to place their workforce on ‘furlough’.

    Recovering training costs from departing employees

    During an employee’s employment, you may well pay for them to attend training courses. 

    Quarantine and employees returning from international travel

    On 22 May 2020 the government announced that a 14 day quarantine period will be introduced for most people arriving in the UK from overseas from 8 June 2020.

    The effects of COVID-19 on our workplaces

    The COVID-19 pandemic had and continues to have a profound impact on the way we live our lives and so it is no surprise then that it has affected the way we do business.

    Key employment and commercial law considerations for charities moving forward

    Thomson Snell & Passmore responds to the Chancellor’s Summer Statement

    Key considerations for the food and drink industry ahead as lockdown is lifted

    Expert Guidance for charity chairs: staff restructuring and redundancies

    Restructuring and redundancies: your questions answered

    The easing of lockdown and the winding down of the furlough (CJRS) scheme on 31 October means that we could see many businesses looking to implement redundancies.

    Workplace Law - June 2020

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